Yesterday, in France, 12 people were murdered (and 11 others injured) while doing their jobs.
They worked at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and were shot by extremists. Among the dead were journalists, cartoonists and two police officers.
While many people struggle to know what their purpose is in this life, these people were clear and intent on theirs: to question the establishment, to make us think, to discourage a complacent society and to make us laugh.
Theirs was an important role in society.
Will the extremist’s attempt to silence them and strike fear in the hearts of their colleagues succeed? Or, will the pen prove itself to be mightier than the rifle?
Yesterday, all around the world, cartoonists sharpened and drew their own weapons. Here is a small selection from the response, their show of solidarity for their colleagues, their defiance of the threat to their right to freedom of expression:
(You can view many more by clicking here)
The editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier, had received death threats in the past and was living under police protection. Unrelenting in his comittment to satire he declared, “I prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.” Today, sadly, that declaration has become his epitaph.
Last night, in vigils in France and across the globe, people raised pens and pencils in homage to those killed.
Rest in peace:
Jean Cabut (cartoonist)
Elsa Cayat (columnist)
Stéphane Charbonnier (cartoonist, columnist & editor-in-chief)
Frédéric Boisseau (building maintenance worker)
Franck Brinsolaro (police officer assigned as bodyguard to Charbonnier)
Philippe Honoré (cartoonist)
Bernard Maris (editor & cartoonist)
Ahmed Merabe (police officer)
Moustapha Ourad (proofreader)
Michel Renaud (guest attending a meeting in the building)
Bernard Verlhac (cartoonist)
Georges Wolinski (cartoonist)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Hilda Carroll
Apprentice Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Travis May
Cartoons: Nathan W Pyle, Loryn Brantz, & Will Varner; David Pope; Lucille Clerc; Dave Brown; Matt (The Telegraph UK); Rob Tornoe; Patrick Chapotte